After seeing one disappointing movie this weekend ( "Live By Night", a Prohibition era gangster film starring Ben Afleck) I followed it with a very
good, uplifting film today, namely "Hidden Figures", the true story of three black female math whizzes who were instrumental in getting the first
US manned space ship into orbit around the earth in the early days of NASA. The women, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn
(Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae'), face many roadblocks in segregated 1961 Virginia. The fact that they are women and black, to
boot, already places two strikes against them. But their determination and courage slowly move them forward in the space program under the guidance
of NASA chief Al Harrison (Kevin Costner). And, while they face triumph on certain levels, the fact that they are black keeps them from garnering any
immediate glory. Their focus however is in getting the job done, as well as proving that they are not only capable, but excel at what they do. The
three women, along with 30 other black females, acted as human computers before the coming of the IBM computer system. It is thanks in great measure
to all of them that John Glenn managed to orbit the earth three times and then return safely in splashdown. It's high time they were recognized for their
achievements beyond the doors of NASA. Nicely acted all around, "Hidden Figures" also accomplishes to show how the women excel at a time where racial
hate, inequty, and the Civil Rights moment are all just a way of life.
The nearly full auditorium of movie-goers clapped at the end and I'll bet you will too.
With a modest budget of 25 million, "Hidden Figures" has already taken in over 55 million at the box office.